Back then, I had heard the term “Narcissist” but I had no clue about the journey that was in front of me. I had no idea what “divorcing a Narcissist” would really entail and I wasn’t equipped to handle things as they were unfolding.
For the past three years, I have focused solely on fighting to protect my daughters and I feel that I’ve done a good job given the challenges of being ‘in pro per’ and up against a court system that isn’t educated in Cluster B personality disorders. With that said, I have been so focused on protecting the girls that I haven’t had the time or energy to tackle the child support issues. Namely, the lack of child support issue. My X hid income in 2010 and once discovered, it placed him about $15,000 in arrears. In the past twelve months, he has made two full monthly payments only because his wages were garnished. Between 2010 and 2012, his arrears have grown to be in the neighborhood of $37,000. His interest alone is $250 per month on the past due balance.
Over the past few years I have struggled from a financial standpoint. More importantly, my children have gone without the things they were accustomed to such as gymnastics, dance lessons and other child-friendly activities. This time of year (school starting) has been extremely stressful with the added cost of school clothing and new shoes. In the beginning stages, I would send him emails begging for help. I came to realize that he thrived on this. He would send me emails outlining the fabulous minimum wage jobs that I could take on in the evenings.
From that point on, I refused to give him the benefit of knowing my financial situation or struggles. I decided to leave it in the hands of Child Support Services of California. I’ve come to discover that Child Support Services has their hands tied. The process of collection is long and drawn out. The system is over burdened and while they can go after someone’s drivers license or seek jail time for non-payment, it takes months and months.
Last year, someone who knows my X husband sent me a link to forms for “Contempt of Court” and advised that I file on the 1st of every month for each missed payment. She stated that while contempt is very difficult to prove, it should be easy in the case of my X husband. I sat on those forms and debated whether or not to file on many occasions. I recently spoke to a local attorney who said, “Tina, normally I would discourage anyone in pro per from filing contempt charges because they are very difficult to prove. If anyone can do it and succeed, it’s you”.
Those were the words of encouragement that I needed. It isn’t about me. It’s about my daughters and the things that they lack in their lives. I can’t even imagine how different that our lives would be if we had received the $37,000 in support payments over the past few years. Meanwhile, a Narcissist is content buying a new car, living in a luxury condo and spending money at wineries and restaurants with zero regard for his daughters.
This week I filed papers to have my X husband held in contempt of court. This could mean stiff penalties or jail time. Prior to filing, I sent him a simple email to ask for an update on his employment status. I notified him of my plan to file contempt charges if we couldn’t resolve these matters.
This was his response:
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